Dallas ISD Offers Detailed Look at Plans to Improve Its Academically Unacceptable Schools

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Speaking of Dallas ISD public hearings ...

A few weeks back, in advance of a series of town halls, we sneak-peaked the district's vague suggestions offered to improve its 33 academically unacceptable campuses. But on the board's meetings-and-agenda website, you'll find the so-called School Improvement Plan for each individual campus prepared for an extraordinarily brief public hearing scheduled for Thursday at 4:30 at 3700 Ross -- and by extraordinarily brief, I mean it's one of three 15-minute public hearings scheduled to take place before the board's regularly scheduled 5:30 meeting. (The other two involve Proposed Technology Protection Measure and Internet Safety Policy and the School FIRST Annual Ranking.)

The plans are both broad and specific -- as in, at Kimball the district wants to "increase African American student achievement in math from 60% to 85%," which will involve,  among many other things, having "all students ... complete math bellringers every day during 4th period to increase mathematical awareness." Meanwhile at North Dallas, which is in its fifth year of AU, one of the suggestions reads: "Students will maintain binders with essential tools for learning such as vocabulary, notes, and graphic organizers, which will be referenced during guided and independent practice." There are also plans for those campuses in their first year of academic acceptability, including Hillcrest and Medrano Middle School. Long story short: There's much homework to be had.
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Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Reading Dianes comments made me think about something: Parents need to be responsible for their kids. Many of these young people are usually the product of already-distressed homes, most with one parent (usually mom under 35) who is either working 2 jobs to keep the lights on or is sucking off the government teet and pumping our more children. For those parents, we need to hold them accountable if their kid skips school, maybe even assist in working w/ local and national non-profs (Big Brothers/Sisters, Boys Club/Girls Inc) to help these young folks achieve beyond their "accepted" socio-economic level.

I've also met some kids who are in the DISD who dont fit into the "troublemaker" mold, who are intelligent but not receiving the proper education from educators who are more concerned about getting a check and heading to happy hour to grip about their classes, admin staff, ect(trust me I know plenty of teachers LOL). For those kids, I say offer the opportunity to learn from home via self-paced courses online, even go to JunCo for credits, allow them to test out and graduate early, as the "traditional" system is, quite honestly, not a challenge for them.

Mike
Mike

Jury Finds Against ESD in Civil Trial - The jury ruled that ESD committed fraud and was grossly negligent. Estimated damages are $8.5 million - pending further testimony.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Here is my list:1. PERMANENT removal of disruptive/violent students to an alternative campus. NEVER allow them to return. Set up a small, but effective, set of alt campuses to deal with their needs---seriously, Some of them NEED a different approach, and a comp campus is not it. 2. REQUIRE parents to walk their children to class when they hit the 5th referral and/or fifth absence. Have to miss work? Too bad. Teach your child that when you miss work, the family misses money, so behave. 3. Work with Dallas County to expand --EXPAND truancy court to hear cases at night and on weekends. PULLING kids from school to deal with absences is an oxymoron. 4. Use the DCC and the D C of C to get businesses like Home Depot to hire 17 yr olds. If they can do it for Olympians, they can do it for my students who would rather be working a flex schedule AND going to school.

5. Students MUST PAY -- either in cash or community service, for summer school. When a kid fails a class the second time, charge a small fee AND parental visit. Taxpayers pay for their classes, not the same class three times in a row.  6. Recheck addresses every 2 months. We don't need the problem children from Mesquite, Garland, Desoto, etc... When they are found to be using an aunt's address, charge the aunt with fraud.

7. START SUPPORTING TEACHERS IN DISCIPLINE. If Mesquite can do it, so can we.

Guest
Guest

Agreed.  Agreed.  Now who do we send these points to that will actually listen??

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Sign up to speak before the trustees. Send emails. Call them.  Go to the few times they have town halls. You would be surprised how FEW people can AFFECT change in the DISD. It was a group of 5 of us who got standardized dress in the DISD after having to deal with gang colors and hooker clothing all day long.

You OWN this district, so pay attention. Go to a football game, a play or any event at a school.

When people trash DISD, ask them, "And how do you HELP their teachers?"

Less than 4% of the eligible voters vote in a trustee election. Take time to learn about any issue and then take action on it.

I have been the idiot yelling about fire ("Night"reference there) for 12 years. I don't always get done what I set out to do, but I have a good track record. And I still have my job, so the idea that they will fire you for speaking up is a bluff. If they do, think about it. What is worse, me making a scene over an issue, or them firing me because I made a scene over an issue?

When they were RIF'ing people 3 years ago, we had 19,000 employees, and less than 200 showed up to protest. We get the district we deserve if we don't take action....

A cog in the system
A cog in the system

DISD teacher and Diane suggest very good things. The ONLY thing I have a problem with is Diane's #6 point, and only because I know they will put that on the shoulders of the teachers...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

The way to do it is expensive, but easy: Mail the report cards home. Those that bounce back, we gotcha! One year, an Asst Principal had all teachers call the numbers for only their second period class. Numbers which were not accurate or not working were tunred in to him, and a process began of calling the kids into the office to find out why. They had a short time to replace the number or needed to show proof they still lived a t the address... It was working at several schools, but surprise, other building bosses objected to the labor of it..... Not seeing that it is labor intensive at first, but if done at regular intervals, it serves its own purpose.

Mike
Mike

Diane is a teacher.

ms g
ms g

Thank you, Diane.  I only wish someone were listening.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Many campuses are in chaos.The school board persistently and consistently ignores this fact.After all, they see themselves as poor, unpaid volunteers when it comes to blame.That in a nutshell is why we have so many AU schools: the trustees allow it.

The causes of the chaos are quite easy to discern:-Top-heavy bureaucracy running teachers too ragged to teach (all the DISD-written tests, for example)

-Race-based, nepotism, and cronyism hires placed in charge even when they are clearly incompetent to begin with or prove to be incompetent as time goes on.  Especially true for principals, HR department, academic coaches, 3700, and anyone involved with professional development

-No campuses set aside for intense remediation of below-level students.  Nothing to do with them but pass them along. 

-No full-year campuses for the extreme behavior problems.  In and out of Village Fair 6 weeks at a time just compounds the chaotic behavior of the kids.  Superintendent and all top staff should have to office out of Village Fair and other AU HS campuses.   I question the sincerity of a superintendent who DOESN'T want to office on an AU campus so they can see firsthand what is really going on

Our school board is too busy infighting, awarding million-dollar contracts to every consultant that comes along, and schmoozing with the HP /Dallas Citizens Cartel to be bothered with fixing DISD.

A math bellringer?  Are they kidding?  Sadly, no.  That is the quality of leadership at DISD.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Yup. Use the agenda page, and it'll bring up live video.

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